WELL isn’t that a relief.
The famous Martin O’Neill leap into the air and fist pump was replicated around the area at the weekend as Steven Fletcher, Stephane Sessegnon and Carlos Cuellar goals fired Sunderland to a first away win of the campaign.
And a couple of things in the win at Fulham could kickstart the season.
First of all, the hosts’ best player, Brende Hanglaand was dismissed for a reckless tackle on captain Lee Cattermole (who might I add did not roll around on the floor and was instantly to his feet).
That left a big hole in the Fulham defence that Adam Johnson brilliantly exploited with his through pass to Steven Fletcher who was back to his goalscoring best.
Secondly, the combination of Johnson and Sessegnon was clear for all to see and after criticism for both came from all around, the pair showed their brilliance.
Sess was on the score sheet and as he leapt into the air there was as much joy as relief in the Benin international’s face.
O’Neill did just that when Steven Fletcher scored the opener with a cool finish and then again when the second and third goals went in.
Now, remember, Sunderland fans don’t get carried away and dream of Europe just yet.
But what we can claim is that we are only two points adrift of the team up the road with a game in hand on them.
I firmly believe that a performance like that from Johnson, Sessegnon and Fletcher can only lift a club and its supporters and that should be shown in the next league match.
We have not turned the corner just yet but the indicators are definitely on after watching a controlled performance on Sunday afternoon.
West Brom at home will prove a tough test after they beat Chelsea last time out.
But the next three outings for us are important as the Baggies and QPR visit the Stadium of Light and then a trip to Norwich awaits.
The next three matches will be important before a tough festive period and the Sunderland car doesn’t slip on the ice.
Ha’way the lads.
– MARTIN DUNN